Google Webmaster Tools Broken Links Tutorial will show you how easy it is to fix and repair broken links, URL and fix 404 page not found errors on your website.
Last Updated: October 13, 2018
Latest News: I have made some changes to the documentation.
Google Webmasters Tools keeps changing and updating the dashboard. This tutorial is based on the old dashboard. I will be updating it soon with the new and improved dashboard.
What you need
- Create a Google account to use Webmasters Tools.
- Check the following URL WordPress Redirect Plugins for a list of plugins I recommend. (Note: Optional but I recommend it.)
Google Webmaster Tools Broken Links Tutorial
Step 1 ) Log into your Google account and open Google Webmasters tools.
Step 2 ) Select your website or one of the websites you are managing if you have more than one. Click on Crawl. In this example there are five errors found as illustrated in the following image.
Step 3 ) In this example I will be checking selling/make-money-through-affiliates.php link illustrated above. I will check this broken link if it is linking from In Sitemaps and Linked from as illustrated in the following image.
URL not found with a first detection date and a last crawled date.
Step 3-a ) Nothing was found in In Sitemaps tab, a few links were found in Linked from tab as illustrated in the following image.
Step 4 ) The URL not found error occurred in this site because I changed the permalink structure and forgot to check the site for broken links. When I click on the link above I get the following error Error 404 – Not Found page. This is the typical error code for a page or file not found in a site.
The following image shows you the correct URL path. I removed the .php extension from the file name and that fixed the problem.
Step 5 ) Since Google Webmasters Tools discovered the broken links on my website and I found out why, I can start redirecting the old links to the new links. In this example I used one of the plugins mentioned above.
Note: No matter which plugin you use, the process is similar. You might like to check the following tutorial WordPress Redirection Plugin Redirects Settings.
Log into your website as admin and go to Redirect Options -> Quick Redirects and enter the old URL under Request and the new URL under Destination. Make sure you click on Save Changes button. See images below.
Step 6 ) Now go back to Webmasters Tools and click on the URL again to make sure that Google can detect the link. Then simply click on Mark as fixed button and click OK on the next screen. See image below.
Click on link to verify that Google can detect the URL. Click on Mark as fixed button.
Click on OK to verify that error is fixed.
This concludes this simple but effective tutorial. I hope this helps you keep track of your broken links.
Google Tutorials List: